Sunday, 11 November 2018

CATHOLICS IN WW1

Records show that Cardinal Francis Bourne was very active in imploring heavens help at this terrible time. In a pastoral letter of September 3, 1916, he wrote:

“Nowhere in Christendom should honour be paid more readily to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary than here in England. In the days of united faith (that is, before the Reformation), her purity and her sorrows were ever held in loving veneration. Throughout the realm, Our Blessed Lady, God’s Mother, were terms and titles dear to every English heart. England was, in very truth, Our Lady’s dowry. It is, therefore, not with the idea of introducing any new devotion, but rather in order to give fresh meaning and greater force to thoughts long cherished by us all and deep-rooted in the history of our race that we desire to consecrate with renewed effort the prayer, which the special circumstances of the moment so urgently demand, to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary…
For these reasons, we desire and enjoin that in all the churches and public chapels of our diocese, Friday, September 15, the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Lady, or on the following Sunday, during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the Stabat Mater be sung, to be followed by the recitation of three Hail Marys and the invocation (repeated after each Hail Mary) “Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us,” in order that, by this public homage, all our dioceses, and, insofar in us lies, our whole country and empire may be solemnly consecrated and dedicated to Our Blessed Lady under this special title.” On August 15, 1917, Cardinal Bourne once more consecrated England to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary (This was repeated solemnly on Christmas day).

Finally after a most bloody conflict among the nations, and after ten million people had died and many more maimed and displaced, the greatest global war in known history at that time ended abruptly in favor of the British. It was at eleven a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 when the Armistice took place. On May 24, 1919, the Archbishop of Westminster again consecrated his country to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in thanksgiving for the great victory in what was thought to be “the war to end all wars.”

The Royal Navy
At the outbreak of hostilities the situation in the Royal Navy was particularly dire. Letters flew about from Bishops to Winston Churchill, in the press and even from among the ranks to Cardinal Bourne. He ultimately had the responsibility to liaise with the admiralty and get matters resolved on the appointment of an adequate number of Catholic Chaplains. Bigotry in the royal navy existed long after it had been negated in the army.
A seaman wrote “…My Lord Cardinal, I hope by the help of our blessed Lady that you will let us have a Chaplain in our Squadron. It is sometimes five weeks and we cannot go to Holy Mass on Sunday…. It is not just that we should be deprived of what we hold and love most dear than life ‘Our dear Lord said if we did not eat His Flesh and drink His Blood we could not live forever.”

The Irish parliamentary party in the Commons eventually forced the Admiralty and Cardinal Bourne to a conference table in 1915 and an increase in the number of Catholic Chaplains followed. But further time was to elapse until these ‘dissenting chaplains’ as they were known, were commissioned and indeed it was not until 1942 they were declared as Roman Catholic Chaplains, Royal Navy.

The first Chaplain of any faith to perish in WWI was Canon Gwydir OSB of Douai Abbey and St David’s Swansea. He was on Home Fleet Hospital Ship Rohilla in October 1914 when she was shipwrecked off Whitby en route to Portsmouth. Fr Gwydir remained on board with the wounded and drowned with them. The C of E Chaplain, who may have been on deck at the time allowed himself to be rescued with many others. The admiralty was unforgiving of this action and he was not appointed to another ship, resigning his commission in December that year.

At the battle of Jutland in May 1916 Fr Pollen was in Warspite, Catholic chaplain to the 5th Battle Squadron. He threw himself into a cordite fire caused by enemy shellfire without a thought for his own safety to rescue two seamen. He rescued them both alive while becoming badly burned himself. Under normal circumstances of war it merited a VC. His CO recommended the Distinguished Service Order. Sir John Jellicoe refused to support this but awarded him the lesser Distinguished Service Cross. This prejudice will be found to be repeated more than once when it came to acknowledging the heroic behaviour of Catholic chaplains.

The Western Front
In general terms a Division was 10,000 men, a Regiment 2-5000, a Battalion 1-3000, a Company 300 and a platoon say 50 in number.
On the Western Front this same disorder over the appointment of Catholic Chaplains that took place in the Royal Navy was to plague the early years of the war for the army. The result was that men went into battle without the sacraments and absolution. In November 1914 the Adjutant General Sir Neville Macready began to sort things out. Msgr. Keating was appointed Assistant principal Chaplain for the Roman Catholics under the structure headed by a Presbyterian Minister Dr. Sims. This structure gave - a workable degree of autonomy on Catholic action. One especially important Chaplain appointment he made was of Father Rawlinson. This priest volunteered for active service in 1914 having previously served in South Africa with the Royal Irish Regiment. It was to him that Monsignor Keating entrusted the day to day affairs of the office. The structure set up was refused by the Protestants who organised their own independent Chaplaincy organisation. Meanwhile Father Rawlinson was nominated as the Catholic accredited advisor to Dr Sims.



It was Cardinal Logue who first advocated sending Chaplains into the front line, to give wounded and dying soldiers the consolations of the Church, the all important confession and absolution. The Catholic Press was not always in unanimity on such matters and often added to the furore by their published views. At home in training camps all over England a similar state of confusion existed, boys wrote home complaining they had no priest. So this sorry state of affairs continued, Westminster pinning all its hopes on a sound and generous response from the War Office, belittled and overlooked the realistic and competent views coming from the Irish Bishops. Each commissioned Priest started with the rank of Captain and was contracted for a year, this followed his application in writing to be a chaplain sent to Westminster. The wheels ground exceedingly small.
Once in place the Catholic Chaplains strove to give extreme unction to the dying on the battlefield and before that confession, absolution and the Holy Mass . The commitment of these Catholic chaplains won the universal respect both from the troops and the Army Establishment for their courage, endurance and leadership in addition to their priestly devotion. One of the Chaplains, Fr Steuart wrote in his book March Kind Comrade
“…All ones recollections of the war on the Western Front are inextricably bound up with its roads and with the unsung heroes, the Labour Battalions who kept the roads repaired and the Traffic Men who ensured you got where you needed to get to. Who that has ever known could forget the Poperinghe Road, the Menin Road, the Zonnebeke Road, the Cambrai Road, the Amiens Road, the Eaucourt L’Abbaye Road, the road from Bray to Maricourt, or the ghostly road that winds in and out among the endless cemeteries of Montauban.”
…”When I first became acquainted with the trenches duckboards were not yet universal, and in many sections the conditions of life were horrible. There was mud everywhere, on clothes and hands and hair, and at meals teeth gritted shudderingly on particles of mud cooked into the food.” This book gave a detailed account of the war and the conditions for the men. His reference to his own actions is negligible but there can be no doubt that like his Chaplain comrades his actions were above reproach and more often than not heroic.

Others were to say “…. These Catholic priests never dropped a word of religion in my hearing but one felt a serenity and a certitude flowing from them such as was not felt from the Anglican chaplains. I found a growing dislike of these latter as they had nothing to offer but a cigarette and a word of consolation that could be given by the man next to you. This Church of Rome sends a man into action mentally and spiritually cleaned. The Catholic priests went into the line while the Church of England forbade its ministers to go forward of Brigade Headquarters”. This injunction was a fatal blunder and its publication disgraceful. Mercifully many Anglican Ministers ignored this injunction and came forward as the award of three VC’s demonstrates.

As the Catholic chaplains impressed the soldiers, the soldiers whom they moved among also impressed them. The priest spent his morning arranging for funerals and then in getting to the troops before they go up to the trenches at night, moving among them, drawing them aside to hear confessions. “All around the men gather their sacks for sand bags, filling large empty biscuit tins with water to make tea in the trenches , getting their trench tools ready, packing their kit, oiling their feet, socks and boots with whale oil to keep their feet warm in the trenches, laughing and smoking. I have never known Tommy like this before, it makes one feel proud to belong to such a race. There is no showy parade of bravery, but an earnestness and a light heartedness that touches one. He is always ready to do his bit and to give his life doing it. There is no foolish rush to the trenches at night, but just quiet and grim determination to do the best. The tales of the trenches are heart warming, my admiration for the Tommy grows with each passing day.
The faith of the men and the prayerfulness of their lives is almost beyond all credit. The English soldier, as someone said fights on his stomach. Well perhaps but there is no doubt that the Catholic one, and most especially the Irish one fights from the fullness of his faith, confession and communion. The example of the practical religion of the Catholic officers and men leads almost the whole army; and I am sure there are thousands and thousands who have turned to God and His protective Providence.”
Fr Willie Doyle had first hand experience of the immeasurable and eternal benefit to the dying men on the front by the appearance of the Priest.. “ One man was the bravest I ever met. He was in dreadful agony, for both legs had been blown off at the knee. But never a complaint passed his lips, even when they dressed his wounds, he tried to make light of his injuries. ‘Thank God Father I am able to stick it out to the end…I am much better now and easier…God bless you’ he said as I left him…sitting a little way off I saw a hideous bleeding object, a man with his face smashed by a shell, with one if not both eyes torn out. He raised his head as I spoke ‘Is that the priest? Thank God I am alright now’ I took his hands in mine as I searched for some whole spot on his face to anoint him..” Non Catholic troops were not slow in observing and appreciating the spirituality, devotion and fortitude of these priests. During the war, according to The Tablet there were 40,000 conversions to the Faith in France alone.






Fr Mullins Fr. Willie Doyle


Fr Doyle was to lose his life on August 16 1917 after nearly three years at the Front. Of all the gallant chaplains he is the one, that by all accounts should have been awarded a VC. General Hickie wrote on 18 November 1917 “… He was one of the best priests I ever met, and one of the bravest who ever fought or worked out here. He did his duty and more than his duty, most nobly, and has left a memory and a name behind him that will never be forgotten. On the day of his death he had worked in the front line and indeed ahead of it, he knew no fatigue or fear. He was killed by a shell towards the close of the day, and was buried on the Frezenberg Ridge. …He was put forward for the VC by his Commanding Officer, by his Brigadier and by myself.” History has shown that the threefold barrier of being Irish, a Catholic and a Jesuit was too much for the establishment – to their everlasting shame.





The last absolution of the Munsters being given by Rev. Fr. Gleeson 8 May 1915. After this the Regiment sang the Te Deum, in the subsequent battle 19 officers and 374 men were lost


Gallipoli

It is sadly ironic that just over 60 years had passed since the Crimean war and it seems that here, 200 miles to the West of Constantinople, the same sad state of affairs existed with regard to the organisation of the allied troops. Thousands were to die from mismanagement and frost bite. Catholic Chaplains were present from the first landings in April 1915.
Fr T A Harker chaplain to the 1st Munster’s was an eyewitness to the first landing and wrote of it:
…” We had lighters with us but even with their assistance it was difficult to reach land, men went out to fasten them but were shot. About 6 in the morning we began to land, and for three hours we had immediate sight of deeds of heroism and of such a shambles as I never hope to see again. Men drowned, men dying without any hope of being assisted and the only passage to the shore was over the bodies of both the living and the dead. The machine guns of the enemy had the easiest job in the world to range themselves upon our boys…” “… Little boras were trying to land but as they met the shore they were annihilated by withering rifle and machine gun fire. The slaughter was appalling. Fr Finn was in one of the first boats and out of 45 in the boat 40 never made it alive. He was hit in the boat and then four more times as he crawled ashore, I was later to bury him myself.






Model of a Lighter - motor landing craft 105 feet long and 21feet wide designed for Gallipoli

Fr Leighton was with the Warwickshire battalion of the 13th division, it was written of him “…He exposed himself freely in the discharge of his duties, he was in the great attack on Hill 871, when he was the only one left in his regiment. He went out to a wounded engineer lying under fire, bandaged him up and carried him to the Indian Hospital halfway down Aghyl Dere. I saw him later wade through machine gun fire to attend to a man of the Connaught’s named Cullen, who lay mortally wounded in open ground.” Fr Leighton wrote himself “I can bear testimony to the noble manner these men went to their deaths. You have heard of the thin red line, well there was a thin khaki line, a line of dead heroes leading up to the crest of the hill, men sitting dead, lying dead, standing against each other dead.”
Towards the end of that year the infantryman was subject to the winter weather, a great storm broke over the Balkans and like their forefathers from the Crimean war they were to suffer terribly from this. Fr Cosser on board a supporting hospital vessel wrote: “ After dark the sick began to arrive. Lighters arrived in steady succession until 3.30 am by which time we had 750 men on board, nearly all suffering from frostbite. Two other similar vessels were also taking on the men and by the next morning there were still 1400 men left on the beach. The ships headed for Malta and Fr Cosser was able to administer the sacraments to the 200 Catholics on board.

They were also on hand at the receiving stations for Hospital ships, A Jesuit Chaplain wrote from Alexandria in Egypt of the sight that greeted him when a hospital ship arrived from Gallipoli – it had no chaplains on board.
“Everywhere was to be seen the sick and wounded and dying all huddled together, the blood and dirt of battle upon them and too few doctors and nurses to tend to them. But the ship - what a sight… what horrors! What a scene it recalls! Shall I ever forget it? Literally the Red Cross ship with its ghastly burden of mangled humanity appeared to be more like a phantom vessel emerging from Stygian darkness and regions of horror than an English Hospital Ship carrying its precious freight of wounded men into a haven of healing rest”.Gallipoli was by no means purely an ANZAC affair; in fact, both the rest of the British, and the French army contingents on Gallipoli outnumbered the ANZACs in terms of men deployed and casualties lost. It has proven to be very difficult to determine the losses of both sides in this most appalling and costly theatre: perhaps the most realistic estimates are that the Turkish army suffered 300,000 casualties (including the many sick) and the Allies, 265,000. The consequent effect of diverting troops and supplies sorely needed on the Western Front, particularly for the assault at Loos, is impossible to quantify. Conditions on Gallipoli defy description. The terrain and close fighting did not allow for the dead to be buried. Flies and other vermin flourished in the heat, which caused epidemic sickness. In October 1915, winter storms caused much damage and human hardship, and in December, a great blizzard - followed by cataclysmic thaw - caused casualties of 10% (15,000 men) throughout the British contingent, and no doubt something similar on the Turkish side. Of the 213,000 British casualties on Gallipoli, 145,000 were due to sickness; chief causes being dysentery, diarrhoea, and enteric fever. The disaster that was Gallipoli ended with evacuation by the allies completed by mid-January 1916.

The Holy Land
In November 1917 the Allies were successful in pushing back the Turkish forces from the land around Jerusalem. During this advance Fr. Bernard Kavanagh C.S.S.R was mortally wounded being hit by a Turkish sniper while going to the aid of a wounded soldier He was ordained priest at St. Mary's, Clapham, in 1890. For over twenty years he laboured as a Redemptorist missioner, and in this capacity he travelled, giving missions at various times to nearly all the industrial centres of Great Britain. He was a gifted speaker, and his facile eloquence never failed to arrest attention and move the hearts of his hearers. Shortly after the outbreak of war Father Kavanagh was asked by his religious superiors to offer himself as army chaplain. Such work demanded no small sacrifice in a man of over fifty years of age but he gladly volunteered. He died on 21 November and lies in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on Mount Olivet.
On December 8 Jerusalem was taken and defended against a counter attack by the Turks on December 26. On 15 August 1918, with Samaria and Galilee still held by the Turks a great pilgrimage took place. Selected Catholic troops from all Allied formations attended from as far afield as Upper Egypt. The parade assembled by the Jaffa Gate – through which General Allenby had entered only eight months before. Looking around as far as the eye could see were rank upon rank of soldiers marshalled by Father Parisotti on his white charger and commanded by Colonel Byrne of the Rifle Brigade.
Carried at the head of the pilgrimage was the great silver crucifix from St Stephens and a Dominican lay brother acted as guide. The rosary was recited as they processed and mingled with the troops were Catholic Chaplains. Five divisions were formed to facilitate orderly entry to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Within the basilica the pilgrims were met by the Franciscan guardians who conducted them to the rotunda, as they entered the Franciscan Friars burst exultantly into the Te Deum. The first part of the procession filed into the Greek choir, facing the Sepulchre, and filled the rotunda surrounding the tomb. All knelt and Fr. Bede Camm OSB led the devotions. After the prayers all rose and filed out by another aisle while the next division entered. During change overs the Franciscans again intoned the Te Deum. All could see the Column of Flagellation ( half of it as the other part is in Rome) exposed by the Franciscans in honour of the occasion.

Eventually the pilgrimage came to a halt at the ancient crusader church of St Anne, the crypt is cut into a rock which local tradition states is the place where Our Lady was born. Here the Holy sacrifice of the Mass was offered. The throng of men was so great that the priest had extreme difficulty in gaining the altar! Familiar hymns were sung during Mass and the ‘faith of our Fathers’ burst forth with intense energy and thanksgiving from fifteen hundred hale men was a memory for a lifetime. Even more wonderful was the hush and stillness that fell when the bell rang out and Host was raised. The celebrant, Austrian though he was, burst into tears and could hardly go on. He later stated that he had never been so moved in his life and his detailed report sent to Rome had delighted the Holy Father.


The day closed with the Stations of the Cross which lasted two hours and ended back in the Holy Sepulchre Basilica. The Franciscans offered Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and gave a papal blessing, which had been granted by telegraph from Rome. Canon Sibley OSB played the organ and once more those mighty voices were raised in the concluding hymn ‘faith of our Fathers’.
The following morning, a Requiem Mass was offered for all who had fallen in the war. A debriefing took place and it was found that not a single incident of bad behaviour had been reported!. The Catholics of the E.E.F (Egyptian Expeditionary Force) had proved themselves worthy of the privilege which had been so generously given to them.




Rev Father Barnard Kavanagh C.S.S.R © IWM

Saturday, 5 March 2016

AN AMAZING CONVERSION AMBROSE DE LISLE PHILLIPS

Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle - born 17 March 1809 died 5 March 1878
Brought up in the Church of England, while at school he met for the first time a Catholic Priest, the Abbe Giraud, a French √©migr√© priest whose holy life struck the boy as inconsistent with what he had always heard about Catholicism. Talking with the Abbe, his interest was aroused and he began to read about the Faith from books in his father’s library. A visit to the continent allowed him to witness the Catholic Liturgy which made a deep impression upon him. Pious and serious by nature he was reflecting on things spiritual one day while walking in the hills in the neighbourhood of his school. He was musing on the Pope of Rome being the anti-Christ of Prophecy. He wrote ‘all of a sudden I saw a bright light in the heavens and heard a voice say ‘Mahomet is the anti-Christ for he denieth the Father and the Son’.


‘On my return home in the next holiday I looked for a Koran and there I found the words, tucked away in the 112 suara (chapter) out of 114 Suaras. Sincere religion ‘In the Name of God the Merciful the Compassionate, say He is God One, God the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, and equal to him is not any one’.’ When aged sixteen he had a dream in which Our Lord seemed to rebuke him for not having fully complied with the light he had received. Spurred into action he contacted Fr Thomas Macdonald in order to be received into the Church. Fr McDonald tested him and found him fully conversant with the tenets of the Faith and he was duly received. Ambrose informed both his schoolmaster and his father and it was arranged for him to continue his study for university under private tuition.

In 1826 our new convert went up to Trinity College Cambridge and there met Kenelm Digby, like himself a recent convert. Every Sunday these two young Catholics used to ride over, fasting, to St Edmunds College Old Hall, a distance of twenty-five miles for Mass and Communion. His health broke down and he was obliged to leave Cambridge without his degree and retire to the Continent to recuperate. He was to maintain his friendship with Kenelm Digby as they both shared a love of ceremonial and church music. Years later, Kenelm was to write his Mores Catholici, almost an encyclopaedia of religious practices and tradition which work further deepened their association.

Returning to England in 1829 he met George Spencer, then an Anglican, and in 1831, while in Italy again, he met Rosmini, who made a great impression on him. He married in 1833, and his father gave him the second family estate, the manor of Grace Dieu in Leicestershire, which before the reformation had been a priory of Augustinian nuns. He arranged for a new manor house to be built and also a great work of founding the Trappist Monastery of St Bernard there as well - giving land and money for its success. Organised opposition was, of course, aroused and Sir Charles Wolsey presided at the Protestant meeting called when the village chapels were built. However a friendship arose between him and Ambrose, and within a few years, the baronet was received into the Catholic Church.
Fr Gentili was appointed chaplain to Grace Dieu in 1840 and a great missionary work began and was carried on in the district around Grace Dieu resulting in a massive number of conversions. He wrote to Fr Dominic Barberi ‘In less than twelve months more than three hundred Protestants have embraced our divine Faith in the parish of Grace Dieu alone; and in every part of England the Catholic religion is making great progress. In this mission of Grace Dieu we have already formed a Catholic school to educate children in the principles of the true Church, and it will console you to know there are at present one hundred and sixty-six boys and girls in it.’

In 1855 the publication of Ambrose’s work Mohametism in its relation to Prophecy published by Charles Dolman took place, a remarkably detailed and informative work of three hundred pages. We give some of it here.

‘…In 609 a great sign was sent to warn Christendom, especially Eastern Christendom, of what was to come. As the Bishops and clergy in divers cities of Galatia were making solemn processions preceded by the Holy Cross, all at once, a great prodigy was beheld. The crosses reeled to and fro and no human force could keep them steady; and evil-feeling seized upon men, and all felt conscious that a new power of wickedness was coming upon the earth. At that time St Thomas was patriarch of Constantinople and, in consternation at this event, he wrote to the man of God, St Theodore Siceotes, bidding him come to Constantinople so he could be consulted. Theodore was reticent to comment but St Thomas conjured him for the love of God to answer. St Theodore burst into a flood of tears and answered him thus ‘Be it known unto you that this movement of the crosses foretokens great and numberless calamities. Myriads of Christians will shortly abandon our most holy religion; on all sides the barbarians will attack the territory of the faithful, there will be such bloodshed as hath not been seen before, with great destruction and seditions all over the earth.’

…‘The cross of Christ trembled at the coming of Mahomet, and well might it seem to tremble, for Mahomet was its bitterest foe. The cross had redeemed the world, and the Koran of Mahomet was to undo the redemption of the cross. For three hours our Lord Jesus had hung in mortal agony on the cross, giving birth to the children of His adoption, and purchasing the souls of His elect; setting them moreover an example of crucifixion to the world, and a renunciation of all our corrupt passions and lusts; but Mahomet came to level the cross, and to preach sensuality, to set up the power of this world, and to procure the ruin of countless millions. The Church of Christ waxed weak torn by the internal strife of heresy and schism, and the cross was seen to shake and tremble. It only remained for the ‘Son of Perdition’ to inaugurate his accursed apostasy by the ‘lying wonders’ foretold by St. Paul.’

…‘When the Roman Empire had been removed and the world was once more plunged in barbarian anarchy, Mahomet came forth from his obscurity (612) to usher in a new religion, a new empire. (aided initially by the Jews and the Nestorian heretics) His religion was to supersede Christianity and his empire was to be universal so he said, and so he promised his followers. He admitted that Christ was a prophet, but he denied that he was God, and he spurned the doctrine of atonement, while he proclaimed himself to be the last and the greatest of the prophets, consequently greater than Christ: and as Christ had founded a religion and a spiritual empire to embrace, one day within its sacred bounds the whole extent of the world, so did this ‘Father and Son denying’ anti-Christ found a carnal and sensual religion, connecting it with a brutalizing and carnal empire; and as Christ had connected the establishment of His empire with that of every virtue, especially with the Divine gift of continence and virginity, so did this beastly anti-Christ associate his empire with the reign of promiscuous concubinage, and of every sensual gratification. What he adopted and retained of revealed Divine Truth was but the mask and cloak for his impious blasphemies, to deceive the unwary, and if possible to lead captive even the elect.’


‘He abolished Christianity root and branch; he took away the daily sacrifice, which the prophet Daniel expressly foretold that Antichrist would do, and instead established vain repetitions of unmeaning prayers in which there was no love expressed for God, nor any hope in the merits of a redeemer. He utterly denied the Passion of Christ which he considered a disgraceful doctrine, and he abolished all the seven sacraments of Grace.’

‘Be ye perfect’ said Our Lord ‘as your Heavenly Father is perfect - but what was the doctrine of Mahomet? Aged forty he shut himself up in the caverns of Mount Hera and remained there for six months. He states a vision occurred when the Archangel Gabriel, bearing in his hands the Alcoran, the last revelation of God to men, complete in all its parts descended from heaven. He was commanded to read through it and the Archangel took it back to heaven promising to bring it back again as it should be needed chapter by chapter. Now can we imagine any description that more perfectly agrees with the words of St Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, where describing the revelation of the Man of sin, he says ‘Whose coming is according to the work of Satan, in all power and signs and lying wonders.’

‘In 621 Mohamet stated he had another visitation, Satan in the guise of the Archangel Gabriel, on this occasion bringing him a miraculous beast called El-Borac. On this he ascended to the seventh heaven. Apparently beyond the sixth heaven Archangel Gabriel was not allowed to accompany him but Mahomet, holier than the highest Angel!, climbed the tree Sedras, and so ascended through a boundless ocean of light to the very throne of God himself, on the steps of which he beheld these words ‘There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his prophet’. He was no sooner admitted to the presence of the most High, than God placing one hand on his breast, and the other on his shoulder revealed to him all truth, and declared to him that he was the most perfect of all creatures, and that he should be honoured and raised above all men, and that he should be the redeemer of all those who believed in him, that he should know all languages, and that the spoils of all he conquered in war should belong to him alone. He then ordered him to prescribe fifty prayers a day to his followers - but on the remonstrance of Mahomet he reduced it to five. After which Mahomet returned to the earth and recounted to his deluded disciples the Satanic vision with which Lucifer had deceived his proud and presumptuous mind. Not content with fifteen wives and a whole host of concubines and female slaves, at the age of fifty-four he fell in love with Aicha, a beautiful girl of only nine years of age, who was just married to his own adopted son Zaid, the unfortunate man was forced to repudiate his wife to gratify the insatiable passions of the prophet, who immediately took possession of her, and married her. When some of his followers murmured at his brutality - how did he answer them? He makes the Archangel Gabriel descend from heaven with a fresh chapter of the Koran, prepared on purpose, in which the incest and adultery of the prophet is vindicated (suara 33 The Confederates ‘when thou said to him whom God had blessed keep thy wife to thyself and fear God, and thou wast concealing within thyself what God should reveal, fearing other men, and God has better right for thee to fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her we gave her in marriage to thee).’

‘The Koran subverted every existing system, whether true or false. It subverted truth, to make way for falsehood; it subverted all pre-existing falsehoods to make way for a new, a greater and a more destructive falsehood, than any that had ever heretofore deceived the children of men.’

Ambrose was moved, during his life as a Catholic, to three main aims. First, to restore to England the primitive monastic observance which he did with the foundation of Mount St Bernard as a Trappist Monastery, secondly the restoration of the primitive ecclesiastical chant, which, writing just a few years before his death, he had seen happen. The third and all consuming passion was for the restoration of the Anglican Church to Catholic Unity. Towards this end he founded, with Hon. George Spencer, the Association of Universal Prayer for the conversion of England. Travelling across Europe in 1844 they were to see the cause grow and spread, being taken up by prelates and people everywhere. He really became the lay apostle of prayer for the conversion of England. His ideal for this conversion was corporate reunion and he worked assiduously for this over many years.

He gave great impetus to the cause of Catholicism with the Oxford movement and was in correspondence with Newman and others. After the restoration of the hierarchy in 1850 he wrote a number of pamphlets and then founded, with thirteen others, the Association for Promoting the Unity of Christendom, known as APUC. A lot of letters were flying to and fro from Rome over this and it was not well received in general. Finally Rome declared, by a papal prescript in 1864, a condemnation of the Association and directed the bishops to take steps to stop Catholics joining it. Ambrose was immediately submissive to Rome and withdrew his name and support from the Association. Rome’s reasons were that there was a false claim of equality given between the Catholic, Greek and Anglican Churches.

Throughout his life he was a great correspondent naming among those with whom he readily exchanged letters, Gladstone, Montalembert, Newman, Pugin, Lord Shrewsbury, Cardinal Wiseman, Faber, Cardinal Manning and Dr W G Ward. His writings and translations were equally profuse. All in all he was a perfect example of a Catholic gentleman devoting his life to Our Lord, his family and his country. He died a Holy death at Garendon leaving his saintly wife and eleven of his sixteen children to survive him.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Matthew chapter VII v. 1-5 worth a study I think especially by the so called recusants...

Extracts from the first letter of Fr Robert Brucciani as District Superior


He is  no doubt  well versed in the Chapter of Matthew referred to and also the notes about it in the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture 

Where are we going?
Being made a superior is like being made the captain of a ship with a responsibility for bringing the ship, her crew, and her passengers safely to their destination. Before a journey can begin, consider first the end. What is the final end of our district, what is the final end of the Society of St. Pius X? Fortunately, our founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, made this very clear by giving us our constitutions (we call them The Statutes) which describe the essence of our Society and its end:


The Society of St Pius the X is a priestly society of common life without vows. The Society’s purpose is the priesthood and all that pertains to it and nothing but what concerns it.


The constitutions were approved by Bishop Charrière of Fribourg in 1970 and received an official letter of praise from Cardinal Wright who was the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy in 1971. Archbishop Lefebvre was always keen to point out that they were written in the spirit of the Church and with the approbation of the Church.

Forty five years later, the essence and purpose of the Society, remains unchanged. Our priestly society is devoted to the perfection and extension of the Catholic priesthood. More concretely, it is a society of priests, religious brothers, oblate sisters and third-order members devoted to the formation of holy priests. This then is the destination, the finality, the end of the District of Great Britain and Scandinavia. All our efforts should have this end in view; every decision we make should be measured by this end.

How do we get there?
The destination being clear, how do we get there? Fortunately, the route is also clearly described in our constitutions under the title, The Society’s Activities. In summary these are:

(i) To form holy priests in our own seminaries.
(ii) To help priests (whether members or not) sanctify themselves by retreats, recollections, priestly associations, third-orders and publications.
(iii) To encourage and develop auxiliaries in the service of the altar and other aspects of the priestly ministry (servers, sacristans, chorists, catechists, florists, church cleaners, tradesmen, professionals etc).
(iv) To assist or to run schools for the purpose of giving a thoroughly Christian education for vocations and for truly Catholic families.
(v) To run parishes and preach parish missions. 
(vi) To assist aged and infirm priests.

                                         
We have no seminary in the district, but there is no shortage of work to do to raise up vocations for the six international seminaries in the Society or for the many traditional Catholic communities around the world.

Over the next few months I will try to discover the treasures and the challenges of the district and shall pray and reflect at length upon how best to navigate the passage set out in The Statutes to reach our destination.

One thing is already clear: the best strategy in the world is worth nothing unless it is rooted in the Divine Will. If we would only become true apostles of Jesus and Mary — making them the centre of our lives — we should have all the help we need. An apostle of Jesus and Mary is one who resides in Their united hearts, desiring only what They desire, anchored like the ship between the two pillars in the dream of St. John Bosco. Mary will be our lighthouse, she will send us a heavenward breeze and she will be our pilot; she will keep us safe from the storm that buffets Holy Mother the Church and she will bring this ship, its crew and her passengers to their journey's end.



May God bless you all on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

of interest see also
http://gloria.tv/?media=138104&language=KiaLEJq2fBR





Thursday, 11 December 2014

A clash between Bishops - the Truth and a Lie


St. Peter martyr, Bishop of Alexandria and Meletius Bishop of Lycopolis also in Egypt.  (early third century AD)

This great Bishop was hailed as an excellent doctor of the Christian religion, admirable both for his skill in the sciences and profound knowledge of Holy scripture.  He succeeded to the See of Alexandria in the year 300 and governed for twelve years.  The nine last he suffered the fury of the Diocletian persecutions.  Virtue is tried and made perfect by sufferings and the fervour of our saint's piety and the rigor of his penances increased with the calamity of the church.  He never ceased begging of God for himself and his flock the necessary grace and courage, and exhorting them daily to die to their passions, that they might be prepared to die for Christ.  His watchfulness and care extended to all churches in Egypt and Libya.  Notwithstanding his charity and zeal, several in whom the love of the world prevailed basely betrayed their faith to escape torments and death.




Among those who fell none was more considerable that Meletius Bishop of Lycopolis.  That bishop was charged with several crimes but his apostasy was the main article alleged against him.  St Peter called a council where Meletius was convicted of having sacrificed to idols and other crimes, and sentence of deposition was passed against him.

The apostate had not humility enough to submit, or to seek the remedy of his deep wounds by condign repentance, but put himself at the head of a discontented party which appeared ready to follow him to any lengths. To justify his disobedience, and to impose upon men by pretending a holy zeal for discipline, he published many calumnies against St Peter and his council; and had the assurance to tell the world that he had left the archbishops communion, because he was too indulgent to the lapsed in receiving them too soon and too easily to communion.  Thus he formed a pernicious schism, which took its name from him and subsisted a hundred and fifty years.

Arius, who was then among the clergy at Alexandria gave signs of his pride and turbulence by espousing Meletius’s cause as soon as the breach was open.  The holy Bishop St Peter, by his knowledge of mankind, was convinced that pride, the source of uneasiness and inconstancy, had taken deep root in the heart of this unhappy man;  and that so long as this evil was not radically cured the wound of his soul was only skinned over by a pretended conversion, and would break out again with greater violence than ever.  He therefore excommunicated him, and could never be prevailed with to revoke the sentence.


Every clergyman is bound to be thoroughly acquainted with the great obligations of his state and profession; for it is one of the general and most just rules of canon law, and even of the law of nature, that “No man is excused from a fault by the ignorance in things which, by his office he is bound to know”

Butlers lives of the Saints  published by Virtue 1949

Sunday, 14 September 2014

CHARTER OF CHRISTIAN POLITICS

UNAM SANCTAM

Bull of Pope Boniface VIII promulgated November 18, 1302
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs 6:8] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5].

There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed. We venerate this Church as one, the Lord having said by the mouth of the prophet: 'Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword and my only one from the hand of the dog.' [Ps 21:20] He has prayed for his soul, that is for himself, heart and body; and this body, that is to say, the Church, He has called one because of the unity of the Spouse, of the faith, of the sacraments, and of the charity of the Church. This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot [Jn 19:23- 24].

Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: 'Feed my sheep' [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.'

 We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal. For when the Apostles say: 'Behold, here are two swords' [Lk 22:38] that is to say, in the Church, since the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter has not listened well to the word of the Lord commanding: 'Put up thy sword into thy scabbard' [Mt 26:52].

 Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the Church but the latter by the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.

However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. For since the Apostle said: 'There is no power except from God and the things that are, are ordained of God' [Rom 13:1-2], but they would not be ordained if one sword were not subordinated to the other and if the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards by the other.
For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to the order of the universe, all things are not led back to order equally and immediately, but the lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the superior.

 Hence we must recognize the more clearly that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual things surpass the temporal. This we see very clearly also by the payment, benediction, and consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of power itself and by the government of the world itself.

In effect according to the testimony of infallible truth it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to condemn it  if it has not been good. Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power: 'Behold to-day I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms' and the rest.

Therefore, if the terrestrial powersThe spiritual man judgeth of all things and he himself is judged by no man' [1 Cor 2:15]. This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, 'Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven' etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

err, it will be judged by the spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err, it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but if the highest power of all err, it can be judged only by God, and not by man, according to the testimony of the Apostle: '




Site Meter

Monday, 4 August 2014

indeed we should remember this anniversary that is filled with burning sorrow...

we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the commencement of WW1 by making available a database of winners of the Victoria Cross who were Catholic.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53589455/vc%20winners%20ww1.pdf

Friday, 31 January 2014

Recuscany I think Not! rather the name is dishonoured


A true definition of a recusant is given below.  Those dissenters from SSPX led by a former bishop of the Society dishonour the name of recusant.  Whatever you think Bishop Fellay may do -  so far the Society remains in safe and sure hands.  

One of the Roman Catholics in England who incurred legal and social penalties in the 16th century and afterward for refusing to attend services of the Church of England.
2. A dissenter; a nonconformist.

My dear friends, 

The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below, especially through the corruption of the Holy Mass which is both the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the Cross - Regnavit a Ligno Deus - and the source of the extension of His kingdom over souls and over societies. Hence the absolute need appears obvious of ensuring the permanency and continuation of the adorable Sacrifice of Our Lord in order that "His Kingdom come." The corruption of the Holy Mass has brought the corruption of the priesthood and the universal decadence of Faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.



God raised up the Priestly Society of St. Pius X for the maintenance and perpetuity of His glorious and expiatory Sacrifice within the Church. He chose Himself some true priests instructed in and convinced of these divine mysteries. God bestowed upon me the grace to prepare these Levites and to confer upon them the grace of the priesthood for the continuation of the true Sacrifice according to the definition of the Council of Trent.



This is what has brought down upon our heads persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. Since this Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work of destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the Liberal theses of Vatican II on Religious Liberty prove, I find myself constrained by Divine Providence to pass on the grace of the Catholic episcopacy which I received, in order that the Church and the Catholic priesthood continue to subsist for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls. That is why, convinced that I am only carrying out the holy will of Our Lord, I am writing this letter to ask you to agree to receive the grace of the Catholic episcopacy, just as I have already conferred it on other priests in other circumstances. I will bestow this grace upon you, confident that without too long a delay the See of Peter will be occupied by a successor of Peter who is perfectly Catholic, and into whose hands you will be able to put back the grace of your episcopacy so that he may confirm it.



The main purpose of my passing on the episcopacy is that the grace of priestly orders be continued, for the true Sacrifice of the Mass to be continued, and that the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation be bestowed upon children and upon the faithful who will ask you for it.


I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all Churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, expressed in the various creeds of our Catholic Faith, in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with what you were taught in your seminary. Remain faithful in the handing down of this Faith so that the Kingdom of Our Lord may come.


Finally, I beseech you to remain attached to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, to remain profoundly united amongst yourselves, in submission to the Society's Superior General, in the Catholic Faith of all time, remembering the words of St. Paul to the Galatians (1:8-9): "But even if we or an angel from heaven were to teach you a different gospel from the one we have taught you, let him be anathema."



As we have said before, now again I say: "if anyone teaches you a different gospel from what you have received, let him be anathema." My dear friends, be my consolation in Christ Jesus, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true Sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy priesthood of Our Lord for the triumph and glory of Jesus in heaven and upon earth, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of my own soul.



In the hearts of Jesus and Mary I embrace you and bless you. Your father in Christ Jesus,

+ Marcel Lefebvre, feast of St Augustine 29 August 1987.



Extracts from an interview with Bishop Fellay 2009

...There is a question of principle here: we have a hard time with Rome. It is still the same problem today. I said to Cardinal Castrillon last year and this year exactly what Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1987: If you want us, you must respect out identity. If you want us to change our identity, it won’t work. Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly Lord. The phrase “Our Lord” means something. He is King because He is God and because all power on heaven and earth was given to Him, even as man. This is a point of faith. There are consequences to ideas like the Kingship of Christ. But if you begin to say, “Well, the State and social life have nothing to do with God. We don’t care about Our Lord,” where is the Kingship of Christ? If He is King, He cares about His powers and He wants them to be observed. This is also a point of faith: we know that every soul appears in front of the Judge, to whom they must give account. This Judge is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King, not only of Catholics, but of everyone, including heads of State, be they kings or presidents. They will have to give an account of what they have done with their powers entrusted to them by our heavenly King. Even if we have to wait for years, we won’t change the Faith.

Archbishop Lefebvre pray for us